Take the high road or the low road…but don’t miss the BGS in Glasgow this November!

Dr Eileen Burns has been a geriatrician in Leeds since 1992 and is President-Elect of the BGS. She is currently Clinical Lead for integration in Leeds and Chairman of the BGS Community Geriatrics Special Interest Group. She tweets @EileenBurns13

eileenburnsThe Autumn Meeting of the BGS in Glasgow this November looks to be a great event with a broad range of topics and sessions.

But the day that excites me the most is Wednesday November 23rd.

Many of us have been approached by commissioners of services to “move into the community” in some way (in whichever part of the UK we are based). Others have seen the need to look at alternatives to acute hospital care for older patients with less severe illnesses, and it’s been clinicians rather than commissioners or managers who have been the spark for new developments.

Innovative services have sprung up around the country, initially without much hard evidence to guide their development, but many of those leading such developments have looked hard at their patients’ outcomes and clinical trials have been performed.

Hence it’s timely that we have a day dedicated to an evaluation of the evidence around such services as Hospitals at Home, and have an opportunity to learn from those who have planned and are developing such services around the UK.

Whether you work in England with its “5 Year Forward View” and “New Models of Care”, or Scotland where Integration of Health and Social care services is forging ahead, in Northern Ireland where health and social care integration has been a reality for some time, or in Wales where the Welsh government has supported such models as the Gwent Frailty service, there’s much we can learn from looking at the developments our neighbours are involved in.

As we are to be in Scotland it’s especially timely that our meeting has this focus- as this quote from the Scottish Government website demonstrates:

“Legislation to implement health and social care integration, passed by the Scottish Parliament in February 2014, came into force on April 1, 2016. This brings together NHS and local council care services under one partnership arrangement for each area.
In total 31 local partnerships have been set up across Scotland and they will manage almost £8 billion of health and social care resources.

Working together, NHS and local council care services will be jointly responsible for the health and care needs of patients, to ensure that those who use services get the right care and support whatever their needs, at any point in their care journey.

Integration will mean a greater emphasis on enabling people to stay in their homes, or another homely setting, where possible, sharing their lives with their family and friends, doing the things that give life meaning and value.”

Whether you take the view that the Scottish system is far head of the rest of the UK in its integration work, and that this is key to the future care of frail older people, or remain more sceptical, this meeting will give you facts not rhetoric.

Hope to see you there!

Register for the BGS Autumn Meeting

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